Hello everyone! I hope you all had a nice weekend. Mine was busy, so please forgive the lack of recent updates!
Today I’m interviewing someone who lives a bit closer to me than last week’s participant… Let’s welcome Erin from the USA!
Please tell us about you!
My name is Erin and I’m 36 years old. I’ve been married 10 years to my husband, Corey… we met ages ago in University. No kids for us, just two orange tabby cats named Scout and Bo (the one-eyed wonder!). I have degrees in creative writing and literature… but as there’s not a lot of job or money in the field of sitting around reading and writing, I work in special education at a local elementary school. Mostly I work with autistic children, and I love my work and the kids I work with… they’re just amazing!
Moi! Nov. 2011
Some of my biggest interests are reading, writing, photography, travel, nature, animals, horror, makeup, glamor, pinup modeling, penpaling, mysticism, paranormal, occult, learning new things, and meeting new peole.
Describe your personality in 10 words!
Sarcastic, loyal, empathic, friendly, moody, generous, spontaneous, adventurous, curious, and easy-going.
Erin & Corey – Christmas 2009
How long have you been penpalling? How did you first start? Tell us about your first penpal!
I’ve been penpalling since I was 8 years old! I got my first penpal when a girl from RI sent a letter to my school librarian asking for a penpal. My librarian knew I liked to write, so she gave the letter to me.
I did stop a while in Jr. High, but then discovered penpal ads in teen magazines and started again. From there I discovered FBs, started getting penpals from all over the world, and have been hooked ever since!
My classroom at school
How many penpals do you have now and where are they from?
I currently write to about 30 penpals from all over the world. Some write a few times a year, some write at least once a month. Just like with everyone in our lives, I am closer to some of them than others, and consider some of my penpals to be among my best friends in life. I have a couple I have been writing to for 20 years!
What are your favorite topics to discuss in letters?
I like to talk about EVERYTHING in letters… what’s going on in our lives, our plans, our hopes, fears and dreams. I like a personal, conversational type letter asking and answering questions and am really kind of annoyed by letters which read like a report and are totally impersonal.
Me at Occupy Wall Street rally – Oct. 2011
What are you looking for in a penpal?
Someone upbeat and positive who is active in life with a lot of interests and activities. It’s more interesting to converse about an active life than about one spent sitting home on the couch watching TV. I really don’t like drama and negative people, and stop writing to people like that after a while. Life is too short for negativity and people who want to stir-up trouble all the time. I am looking for creative, interesting people who love life and want to share all the ups and downs of it with a loyal and caring friend.
My kitties – Scout (the bigger one) and Bo (with one eye)
What do you like the most about penpalling?
Meeting people from places I will likely not get the chance to visit, learning we are all very similar despite where we grew up and what culture we live in.
In what language(s) do you correspond?
English, and I attempt Spanish sometimes.
Me, husband Corey & his mom, Dee Dee at Bristol Renaissance Fair – July 2010
What are some of your habits in regards to letter writing?
I usually write letters in the evenings while my husband is watching TV… I’m just not a “sit around doing nothing” kind of person. So I am usually sitting on the couch with all my papers and such spread-out, or sprawled-out in bed watching netflix while writing letters.
I tend to write letters at least 2 pages (front and back), but often much longer… if someone writes me a long letter asking a lot of questions and giving me a lot to respond to, then I have more to write. If they send me a little note, I don’t have much to say in return.
The time it takes for me to answer a letter varies. I work full-time and also have a perfumery and weekend photoshoots. I write as soon as I can, but it can take a few weeks when things are hectic.
One of my pinup photos – Sept. 2011
Has anything strange/funny ever happened to you since you’ve been penpalling?
I’ve had a lot of people ask for money :/
I’d say the weirdest thing that’s happened, though, is a woman I wrote to told me (and a bunch of other people) she had cancer… people felt bad for her and sent her a lot of gifts, etc… she then sent an email from a different email address saying she had DIED from cancer!! And people sent flowers, etc… then about four months later, I got an email from her at her usual email address saying she’d seen me on a penpal site and would I like to be penpals. Turns out it’s a scam she pulls every once i a while… faking an illness and sometimes death… to get gifts and money from people!!! How horrible! I know plenty of people really suffering and was appalled by this!
Me, my mom (Marci), my niece (Chloe), and my nephew (Andrew)
at Brookfiled Zoo in Chicago – May 2011
Have you met any of your penpals?
Yes, I have met three. One from Sweden who came to see me… that was a great visit and we went to Chicago site seeing and had a great time.
The other two were from the US and those weren’t such good meetings. One turned out to be rather unstable and stalked me for a number of years… she also shoplifted while she was visiting me! The other one, I drove almost two hours to see and all she wanted to do was go to Denny’s for coffee for 20 minutes… wish I’d known that before making the trip!
Me at Hegler-Carus Mansion in LaSalle, IL – June 2011
Are you currently looking for more penpals?
I always welcome interesting, long letter penpals! If people would like to contact me, my email address is firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you, Erin!
P.S.: I would love living in that mansion…